Conservation Groups Urge NOAA to Invest in Restoration and Protection of Marine and Coastal Habitats for Climate Resilience

December 21, 2022

The Honorable Gina Raimondo
Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20230
The Honorable Brenda Mallory
Council on Environmental Quality
730 Jackson Place NW
Washington, DC 20503
The Honorable Rick Spinrad
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1315 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
The Honorable Shalanda Young
Office of Management and Budget
725 17th Street NW
Washington DC 20503

Dear Secretary Raimondo, Administrator Spinrad, Chair Mallory, and Director Young:

The undersigned conservation organizations, scientific societies, and businesses, representing hundreds of thousands of stakeholders focused on improving and restoring coastal habitats in the face of accelerating climate change, are writing to urge you to commit the $2.6 billion of Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) “Investing in Coastal Communities and Climate Resilience” funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) toward efforts to conserve, restore, and protect coastal and marine habitats to increase climate resilience and sustainability of coastal and marine resource-dependent communities.

We share the goals of the Inflation Reduction Act—to build a sustainable future and better the lives of hardworking Americans. This funding can support ongoing efforts by NOAA to address the needs of coastal communities. Coastal counties in the U.S. are home to over 128 million people, or almost 40 percent of the nation’s population. The lives and livelihoods of these communities will be at even greater risk as climate change exacerbates the effects of storms, flooding, and erosion.

Specifically, we urge NOAA to prioritize these IRA funds toward on-the-ground, nature-based solutions to address community climate adaptation needs like storm surges and flooding as well as coastal restoration work to invest in improving ecosystem function and health. Natural infrastructure and restoration projects, especially those that also provide benefits to fish and wildlife, should be a primary funding focus. Given the amount of funding available, we recommend NOAA consider allocating these funds through sizable grants (larger than $25 million) that can be utilized to implement projects across large landscapes. NOAA should also consider utilizing its existing community-focused grant programs to put funding on the ground, and programs like the America the Beautiful Challenge managed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Finally, we strongly support NOAA prioritizing economically-disadvantaged communities and tribes for grant funding, including support for developing grant proposals, and encourage NOAA to broadly engage private sector expertise in ecological restoration, especially for larger, more complex projects.

NOAA has received a monumental allocation of new resources during this Administration through the IRA and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This historic appropriation included in the IRA is a crucial opportunity for NOAA to support historically underfunded coastal and marine-resource dependent communities and tribes, while also addressing climate resiliency needs at larger scales. We support these efforts and stand ready to help NOAA with this groundbreaking funding opportunity. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions, we look forward to working with you.


American Fisheries Society
American Fly Fishing Trade Association
Ducks Unlimited
Ecological Restoration Business Association
Land Trust Alliance
National Wildlife Federation
The Conservation Fund
The Nature Conservancy
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Wild Salmon Center
Wildlife Forever

CC: Coastal Lawmakers